Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has described trust as critical to the nation’s economic growth.
He said the nation’s entire credit system was based on trust.
According to a statement on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President made the remarks in a keynote address he delivered at the Nigeria Leadership Initiative webinar series with the theme “A national conversation on rebuilding our national values system.”
The statement was titled “Why merit is crucial to economic growth, by VP Osinbajo.”
Osinbajo was quoted as saying that before credit facility can be extended to a customer, there must be trust that he or she will repay.
He added that citizens will not pay taxes if they do not have the trust that government will not embezzle it.
Osinbajo said, “Economic growth rests upon the substructure of values. The basis of the entire credit system as we know it, is trust. Indeed, the word credit is derived from the Latin word ‘credere’ —to believe or to trust. For a credit facility to be extended to a person, trust is placed in the borrower and his or her willingness and ability to repay.
“When we say that there is a credit crunch, we are referring to a lack of trust. This has significant implications for the economy. Banks cannot lend to people when fraud is widespread, and enterprise and industry cannot flourish without credit.
“Financial institutions may also be reluctant to lend because they cannot trust that the government will remain consistent with regulatory policies. For the same reason, investors may be discouraged from investing. When we speak of investor confidence, we are merely describing the level of trust investors are willing to place in an environment.
“Citizens who do not trust that their taxes will not be embezzled due to official corruption are unlikely to see any value in paying their taxes. If people stop trusting the media, they are more likely to fall prey to merchants of fake news which can have a destabilizing effect on a nation.
“Where everyone is self-seeking, there can be no trust and without trust, it is impossible to sustain an open society. The significance of trust for the workings of the economy and society are far-reaching.”
Osinbajo said the country was in need of a value system that promotes national development.
He said such value system must be capable of engendering unity and a shared vision.
He added, “For purposes of national unity, for example, we must accept that unity and peace are important outcomes, but the condition predicate for both unity and peace is justice (both legal and social justice). So, in our context, justice includes the notions of fairness, equity, and equality.
“In our context, justice includes the notions of fairness, equity, equality and it is significant that our Constitution is actually replete with references to these themes.”